The STARS trial

This clinical trial compares the order of treatments for women who have oestrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive breast cancer and need radiation treatment and hormone medication to control the breast cancer following surgery.

Some women with breast cancer need radiation therapy after surgery to help prevent the cancer recurring. Often hormone medication is also given to help control the cancer and lower the chance of it returning. The hormone medication may also help the radiotherapy prevent the cancer recurring in the breast area or nearby lymph nodes.

Currently doctors don’t know if the order of starting the radiotherapy and starting the hormone treatment has an impact on the control of the cancer. This study is aiming to find out which is the better order of treatments. Is it better to use a hormone medication (called anastrozole) during radiotherapy, or wait to use hormone medication after radiotherapy?

This trial is open to post-menopausal women receiving post-mastectomy or post-lumpectomy radiotherapy and who have oestrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive breast cancer and have completed chemotherapy.

2000 women from 20 sites throughout Australia and New Zealand will be randomly allocated (i.e. the treatment will be selected by chance) to one of two treatment schedules:
A)    Anastrozole starting before radiotherapy and continuing during radiotherapy (the experimental arm)
B)    Anastrozole starting after radiotherapy has been completed (standard arm).

In New Zealand the trial is open in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch. If you are interested in this clinical trial ask your radiation oncologist or medical oncologist if it is right for you.